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The press photo exhibition and the winners of the photo awards were announced in Viru Keskus


The Estonian Press Photographers Association (EPFL), in collaboration with the Estonian Association of Media Enterprises (EML) and Canon and Overall, opened the traditional press photo exhibition on February 21st at the Viru Centre in Tallinn, where the best photos of 2023 are displayed. At the same time, the winners of the photo awards were announced and the freshly printed “Estonian Press Photo 2024” yearbook was presented.

The winner of the 2023 news photo is Camilla Kännola from Raplamaa Sõnumid with the photo “ELECTRICIANS’ WORKING DAY.”

At the end of November, a strong blizzard and snowfall swept across Estonia, leaving thousands of homes in darkness. “The wires are breaking,” explained Andrei Voropajev, who has been working as an electrician in Raplamaa for 20 years, to local journalists who relied on him as a source of information during the challenging days after the storm. Thick snow accumulated on the power lines, and as much as possible, the lines had to be continuously cleared. Across Estonia, during those days, over 150 specialists worked in shifts, braving the cold and thick snow to make efforts to quickly eliminate storm-related disruptions. The photo shows the lines being cleared on December 6th in the village of Palamulla in Raplamaa.

Sven Tupits won the Best Character Photo award with the photo “CANCELLED MAESTRO.” On Sunday, April 2, instead of Andres Mustonen, violinist, conductor, and acclaimed early music performer, Endrik Üksvärav will lead the grand performance of J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion at the Palm Sunday concert in Kaarli Church. Mustonen was sidelined as he had performed in March in Novosibirsk, Russia, with musicians who have supported Vladimir Putin’s policies towards Ukraine and Crimea. Estonian Concerts also terminated its collaboration with Mustonen.

The Best Sports Photo was won by Postimees’ photo reporter Tairo Lutter with the photo “BLOODY EFFORT.” Elite sports is the ultimate effort, to the point of blood visibly present. Figure skater Arlet Levandi clinched 2nd place in the men’s short program at an international figure skating competition held in Tallinn, scoring 76.34 points from the judges, marking his personal best. The picture was taken in the final seconds of the short program.

Tairo Lutter from Postimees received the Best Portrait Photo award with the photo “PAINFUL QUESTION.” Johanna-Maria Lehtme, the head of the charity organization Slava Ukraini and a member of the Estonian Parliament, is captured at the moment when a journalist asks: “Do you have or did you have a love affair with Hennadi Vaskiv, the head of the Ukrainian aid organization?” Lehtme faced serious accusations of misusing funds donated to Ukraine. Did a personal relationship cause the situation? A few weeks later, Johanna-Maria Lehtme announced her resignation from the parliament. She was also removed from her position as a member of the Slava Ukraini board. With the same photo, Tairo Lutter also won the “Press Photo of the Year 2023” award.

The category nominees and winning works can be found here.

The traditional Estonian Press Photo exhibition was opened at the Viru Centre in Tallinn. The best press photos can be viewed from the beginning of March in Tartu, Narva, Pärnu, Rakvere, Jõhvi, and elsewhere in Estonia.

The chairman of the Press Photo jury was Martin Šmutov, the editor-in-chief of Õhtuleht. Evaluating the photos from Estonia were photographer Raigo Pajula and journalist Piret Reiljan. The international jury members included freelance photographer and photography lecturer Evgenia Levin from Lithuania and documentary photographer Akseli Valmunen from Finland.

The partners of the Estonian Press Photographers’ Union in organizing the “Press Photo of the Year 2023” competition are the Estonian Association of Media Enterprises, Canon, and Overall Estonia.

The Press Photo Year Exhibition will remain open at the Viru Centre until March 17th, located on the 2nd floor of the center starting from February 27th.

Photos  Marek Metslaid

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